Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)
Source: Huffington Post
By Nida Khan; Independent Journalist, Producer, Multimedia Professional
Huff Post: President Obama forcefully pushed back against presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday, calling his incessant outcry to use the term ‘radical Islam’ a political talking point. As the President rightfully denounced Trump for his proposed Muslim ban and asked if we were going to start treating American Muslims differently because of their faith, Muslims everywhere felt comforted by the notion that the leader of the free world had their back and stood up to a bully that could so easily demonize them and their faith. While it was important and necessary for the President to condemn Trump’s comments and counter his xenophobia and fear-mongering, reducing the conversation to whether or not one should use the term ‘radical Islam’ does a disservice to both Americans and Muslims the world over. It’s time we talk about the larger elephant in the room – and I don’t mean Republicans.
Each and every time there is a tragic shooting or calamity in this country, there’s almost a formulaic response: we mourn, question, have outrage, throw blame around and sow divisions among ourselves. Who was the perpetrator(s), why did he/she/they do this? And if the suspect(s) have a Muslim name or purport to follow the religion of Islam, the entire Muslim populous of 1.6 billion people are required to denounce it, and are collectively blamed often by politicians and pundits on both the left and right (I’ll be it, more subtly on the left). The news cycle is then inundated with non-Muslims talking about Muslims and ‘analyzing’ Islam. False ideas and narratives are freely thrown about – often going unchecked by journalists moderating a discussion – and many times, openly bigoted statements are spewed on mainstream networks and on the pages of our most esteemed publications. With this backdrop, a convenient argument over whether or not to use the term ‘radical Islam’ ensues, but we are no closer towards understanding why someone may become radicalized or what we should be doing to counter it.
The callous murders and horror that occurred in Orlando this past weekend were shocking, devastating and beyond disturbing for all Americans and people around the globe. There is no justification ever for the taking of innocent lives, and all decent humans from all faiths and backgrounds wholeheartedly believe in this concept. Each and every time a tragedy like this occurs, politicians like Trump use it for their own political advantage, as do others peddling books or TV appearances, and innocent Muslims unfortunately face a backlash. I want to be perfectly clear that I in no way condone, excuse or even remotely dismiss the heinous actions of the Orlando shooter. But in order to understand how easily terrorist groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and others can recruit, or how disturbed individuals can become self-radicalized, we must start facing reality.